JHR Photography

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In the dynamic world of photography, Jayson Rivas, the visionary behind JHR Photography and ISO Photo XP, embarked on a small business journey to blend artistry, entrepreneurship, and a passion for capturing one-of-a-kind moments. He opened JHR Photography in December 2017, initially focused on senior portraits and headshots and gradually evolving to become a prominent player in sports and gymnastics photography under his other brand, ISO Photo XP.

As Rivas’ photography ventures flourished, he found himself in the spotlight when invited to photograph multiple gymnastics championships sponsored by a national sports organization across various states. It was at that growth point that Rivas began to seek the expertise of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Austin Peay State University.

Approaching the TSBDC with the dual objective of securing business financing and planning growth strategies, Rivas met with director and consultant Liz Snodgrass and her team. The TSBDC’s comprehensive assistance began with refining Rivas’ business plan and guiding him through the intricacies of the loan application process. The center also facilitated connections with potential lenders, creating a network for Rivas to explore financing options.

While Rivas received approval for the initial loan, he strategically decided that his business needed more flexibility than the loan could provide. Opting to bootstrap his business growth, Rivas’ decision provided his business the flexibility to collaborate with other local photographers and enlist the expertise of an offshore graphic design team. Additionally, acquiring an exclusive photography vendor contract for several events sponsored by a national sports organization marked a pivotal achievement for JHR Photography/ISO Photo XP.

The TSBDC at Austin Peay State University actively contributed to the strategic development discussions and planning for growth across various sectors of Rivas’ business. The partnership extended beyond financial guidance, positioning the TSBDC as an integral force in shaping the trajectory of JHR Photography/ISO Photo XP’s success. Moving forward, the center will continue to be a guiding force as JHR Photography/ISO Photo XP navigates through the exciting phases of expansion and diversification.

For Rivas, the future holds immense promise and anticipation. Reflecting on his entrepreneurial journey, he expresses gratitude for the pivotal role played by the TSBDC. In his words, “As I transitioned from the military and launched my company full time, the TSBDC was one of my first stops. . . . The TSBDC became a key partner in the successful launch of my business.” Rivas credits the TSBDC as a force multiplier for entrepreneurs in Middle Tennessee, acknowledging that his journey wouldn’t have been possible without the center’s expertise and collaboration.


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